We all know vintage gems can be spotted in the most obscure places, from charity shops to car boot sales. But what about your mum’s wardrobe? Surely not, I hear you cry. Who would want to look like they had been whisked back to the ’80s by time-machine? Well, actually, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Just the other day, when rooting around my mother’s wardrobe I came across an old trench coat hidden behind a sea of M&S jumpers. It must have been 30-odd years old. Neglected, forgotten, and altogether abandoned, it seemed to wink at me, pining to be worn again. Yes it was a few sizes too big and the oversized shoulders swamped me. But for a fiver I had the shoulder pads removed, and my mum’s old coat was transformed into my new autumn staple (the larger size serving to tick the new A/W trend seen on the catwalk).
In recession-hit times, I felt somewhat chuffed that I didn’t have to splurge £100 for a brand new coat that wouldn’t have any history, any character … that, ultimately, wouldn’t be vintage!
But don’t think this incident was an exception. Each time festival season comes around, I take to rummaging in the back of mum’s wardrobe for old denim or tartan shirts to update my look. After all, what could be comfier during those long, chilled evenings spent basking in the sun, beer in hand, listening to the latest indie tunes? I simply add a waist belt and military boots to transform that oversized 80’s shirt into a chic, modern, denim dress.
Still not convinced? During a coffee date the other day I was caught eyeing my friend’s brown satchel wondering how on earth she had yet ANOTHER bag I hadn’t seen before. ‘It was my mum’s’, she replied coolly. The conversation soon turned to how both of us had a number of vintage finds that had been carefully picked from the back of our mothers’ Narnia wardrobes.
Unfortunately, when it comes to footwear, my mum’s shoes refuse to accomodate my giant size 8 feet. But if you and your mum are lucky enough to share the same shoe size – as my friend does with her mum – then why not venture into your ma’s old shoe collection too? Okay, the rubber-jelly-block flip flops will have to be a pass. But the converse? They’re still bang on trend. And don’t even get me started on jewellery finds: they take the term ‘vintage gems’ to a literal level.
There’s no doubt about it: women would much rather hoard old clothes, shoes and jewellery than chuck them out. Who cares if this results in a ridiculous mound of items stuffed in the back of the cupboard, or hidden away in the corner of the attic? Mums, on behalf of all fashionista daughters, I thank you.